aliexpress stationery haul

AliExpress Stationery Haul

I’m in quite a few bullet journal groups on Facebook and AliExpress is a favourite store across them all.  These excited recommendations are generally focused on products like washi tape and stickers, but there are countless subcategories of budget-friendly items available from their sellers! For this AliExpress haul, though, I’ll be sticking to what I know, which is mostly bullet journal supplies.

I’ve quite literally had this post in my drafts for months and haven’t had the right time to share it. . . but better late than never, right?

I’m including both the exact product I ordered and, when I can find one, a comparable one on Amazon (with Prime shipping unless otherwise noted!).

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see our disclosure for more information!

Artist Washi

On AliExpress:  To Master Van Gogh Monet Painting Washi Tape DIY Scrapbooking Sticker Label Masking Tape School Office Supply, $1.90/1 roll

On Amazon: 7 Rolls World Famous Painting Design Washi Tape Set – Oil Painting Canvases Patterns Masking Tape for Art Crafty Decorative, DIY Crafts, Gift Wrapping, Party, $15.99/7 rolls

My review:  After taking an art history class as part of my public history minor in college and taking a modern art class this summer, I’ve really developed what was previously a passing interest in art. This washi tape was perfect for that! This round, I ordered rolls featuring works by Monet (my all-time favourite), Klimt, and Matisse.

Would I buy again? Yes! I’m already planning to pick up a few of my other favourite artists.

Office Supplies Washi

1x 10m Best Selling Designs(raindrop, elephant, cat, flower, flag) Decorative Washi Tape DIY Scrapbooking Masking Tape School Supply, $0.81/roll

My review: The office supply inception here is fantastic!  I don’t often have a page that makes me think (yes, this needs more office supplies), but when I do? I’ve got this!

Would I buy again? If I finish up this roll, most definitely!

Crystal Washi

On AliExpress: 3 Rolls Washi Masking Tape Set Petal Animal Flower Paper Masking Tapes Japanese Washi Tape Diy Scrapbooking Sticker, 15mm x 5m, $2.10/3 rolls

On Amazon: Green Flash Japanese Washi Masking Paper Tape / STUDY HOLIC (Mineralogy [ ST-017 ]), $9.99/roll

My review: This is just so pretty!  I love my crystals and I can’t wait to make a special spread to catalog them.

Would I buy again? Yes!

Galaxy Washi

On AliExpress: 3 Rolls Washi Masking Tape Set Petal Animal Flower Paper Masking Tapes Japanese Washi Tape Diy Scrapbooking Sticker, 15mm x 5m, $2.10/3 rolls

On Amazon: BCopter Washi Masking Tape Set, DIY Sticky Adhesive Paper, Colorful Decorative Arts Craft, Gift Wrap Scrapbook Bullet Journal Planner, value pack Hand Tear Writable (Galaxy-3), $6.99/3 rolls

My review: There’s a bit of a space theme going on throughout this haul as I was working on my “witchy” bullet journal while ordering. This galaxy washi tape was absolutely perfect! I love the variety of colours.

Would I buy again? Yep.  I’ve been able to use this for a few different spreads, like astrology snippets and my Star Wars theme!

Heartbeat Washi

On AliExpress: 2017 Free shipping 24 patterns washee in tape rilakkuma jiataihe washi tape kawaii watercolor tape 1rolls/lot, $1.18/roll

On Amazon: Gold Glitter Dreamy Watercolor Plannet Moon Sky Star Heartbeat Washi Tape – Set of 2 Rolls – Decorative DIY Japanese Masking Scrapbook Bullet Journal Notebook Sticky Paper Wide Washi Tape Set, $8.99/2 rolls

My review: Fittingly, I fell head over heels for this adorable heartbeat washi. I’ve added it to a few other lovey-dovey rolls I’ve got and have lots of spread ideas. Things I love? Best date ideas? Let me know your best suggestion in the comments!

Would I buy again? Most definitely–this is one of my favourites!

Marble Washi

On AliExpress: 1X DIY Japanese Paper Marble Washi Tape White Paper Masking Tapes Adhesive Tapes Stickers Decorative Stationery Tape 1.5cm*10m, $1.08/roll

On Amazon: American Crafts Marble Crush Memory Planner 8 Piece Washi Tape Cool, $9.99/8 rolls

My review: As a blogger, I think I’m required to enjoy marble anything. That being said, I have remarkably little of it in my life! This washi adds just a touch, but it’s a welcome detail.

Would I buy again? Yep.

Bookshelf Washi

On AliExpress:  24 Style Creative Modern People City Daily Life Decorative Washi Tape Scotch Diy Scrapbooking Masking Tape School Office Supply, $0.84/roll

On Amazon: RoundTop Designer’s Washi Masking Tape 20mm x 5m, Yano Design Series Natural, Book Shelf (YD-MK-001), $10.92/roll

My review: How perfect is this washi for my reading and writing spreads?

Would I buy again? Yes!

Watercolour Washi

On AliExpress: JA211 The Fancy Color of Water Decorative Washi Tape DIY Scrapbooking Masking Tape School Office Supply Escolar Papelaria, $1.10/roll

On Amazon: Natural Color Washi Masking Tape, Sticky Paper Tape for DIY, Decorative Craft, Gift Wrapping, Scrapbook, Nordic, Set of 6, $8.99/6 rolls

My review: I love the aesthetic of watercolours, so this was a no-brainer. Plus, the colour scheme is beautiful!

Would I buy again? Yep.

Antiques Washi

On AliExpress: JI116 3cm Wide Black White Antiques Decorative Washi Tape DIY Scrapbooking Masking Tape School Office Supply Escolar Papelaria, $1.74/roll

On Amazon: Antique Washi Tape Set (Japanese Masking Tape) by MIKOKA, 0.6 inches Wide, 32.8 Feet Long, 5 Rolls – Vintage Fantasy, $15.99/5 rolls

My review: I love “old things,” so this was a great match.  This is one of a few larger rolls that I don’t use as often as the “normal” tapes, but it’s perfect for adding some flair to a blank space!

Would I buy again? Yep.

Balloon Animal Washi

On AliExpress: Creative Animal Travel to London Washi Tape DIY Scrapbooking Sticker Label Masking Tape School Office Supply, $1.02/roll

On Amazon: Masking Tape Washi Tape Set 4 Rolls for DIY Scrapbooking Embelishment Bullet Journal (Width 0.78in Length 22.96ft) (Whale Weather Balloons Bunting), $9.99/4 rolls

My review: I’m terrified of clowns, so I’ve only really gotten a few balloon animals over the years. Nevertheless, I find them adorable! This washi was a perfect was to get some of that cuteness . . . without Pennywise staring at me in the process.

Would I buy again? Yep

Travel Washi

On AliExpress: Creative Animal Travel to London Washi Tape DIY Scrapbooking Sticker Label Masking Tape School Office Supply, $1.10/roll

On Amazon: Pack New Sketched Paris Eiffel Tower Japanese Washi Tape Office Adhesive Tape Adesivo 15mm10m, $10.00/roll (not available with Prime shipping)

My review: While I haven’t travelled much lately, that hasn’t stopped me from daydreaming about it (my travel bucket list is coming soon here on the blog!). This washi is perfect for travel-themed spreads, from places to go to packing lists.

Would I buy again? Yes!

Cactus Washi

On AliExpress: Nice Green Cactus Decorative Washi Tape DIY Scrapbooking Masking Tape School Office Supply, $1.08/roll

On Amazon: Smartcoco Cactus Potted Plants Sticky Paper Tape Decorative Adhesive Printing Masking Washi DIY Scrapbooking Decor, $2.77/roll

My review: My succulent was brutally murdered in the move from my apartment at school (I know. Rest in peace, little guy), so this washi was my main source of greenery for a while this summer. It’s not quite the same as having a real plant friend, but it was a decent substitute!

Would I buy again? Yes!

Jellyfish Washi

On AliExpress: 1.5CM Wide Blue Sea Jellyfish Tape DIY Scrapbooking Sticker Label Masking Tape School Office Supply, $1.38/roll

On Amazon: Gold Glitter Sea Ocean Creature Marine organism fish Jelly Whale Washi Tape – Set of 3 Rolls – Decorative DIY Japanese Masking Scrapbook Bullet Journal Notebook Sticky Paper Wide Washi Tape Set, $10.99/3 rolls

My review: Now, I don’t particularly like the ocean. I’m moderately terrified of water. That Friends episode has always stuck in my mind when jellyfish are involved. Nevertheless, I fell in love with this washi the moment I saw it. Despite my fears, there’s just something about the artistic rendering of it that’s so calming!

Would I buy again? Yep

Galaxy Landscape Washi

On AliExpress: Night Stars Gilding Washi Tape DIY Scrapbooking Sticker Label Masking Tape School Office Supply, $2.34/roll

My review: I bought three rolls of this tape: the train, the fireworks, and the astrological symbols. They’re gorgeous! The metallic gold stands out beautifully against the “starry sky.”

Would I buy again? Absolutely. I cherish these rolls desperately, but I’d definitely replace them given the need!

Travel Stickers

On AliExpress: Travel Around The World Watercolor Hand-Painted Building Decorative Stickers Adhesive Stickers DIY Decoration Diary Stickers, $1.58

On Amazon: Travel Around The World Watercolor Hand-Painted Building Decorative Stickers Adhesive Stickers DIY Decoration Diary Stickers, $7.93 (not available with Prime shipping)

My review: These stickers are beautiful – so beautiful that I’ve hardly touched them!  I have a terrible habit of saving especially pretty stickers for the “right” moment, which may never come.

Would I buy again? Yes!

London Stickers

On AliExpress: Creative London Vacation Stickers Diary Sticker Scrapbook Decoration PVC Stationery Stickers, $1.26

My review: In case you haven’t caught on, I really, really miss living in the UK.  London holds a special place in my heart, so these stickers were an extra special purchase! I’m thinking of creating a “Things I Miss about the UK” spread specifically to use these and some of my other travel-related items. . . .

Would I buy again? Of course!

Alpaca Stickers

On AliExpress: Novelty Cartoon Alpaca 3D Stickers Diary Sticker Scrapbook Decoration PVC Stationery Stickers FOD, $0.83

On Amazon: [DECO FAIRY] Cute Litte Sheep and Alpaca Animal Puffy Stickers, $7.99

My review: I had a similar pack of 2D stickers with these adorable cartoon critters that was almost used up when I came across these. Given my love for alpacas (and friends thereof), this was a must-buy!

Would I buy again? Yes!!

Gudetama Stickers

On AliExpress: 60 pcs/pack Sanrio Gudetama Lazy Egg Sealing Stickers Diary Label Stickers Pack Decorative Scrapbooking DIY Stickers, $0.94

On Amazon: Zeroyoyo Sanrio Gudetama Lazy Egg Sealing Stickers Diary Label Decorative Scrapbooking, $3.99

My review: Gudetama is one of my all-time favourite animated characters. I have pens with him on it, so I naturally needed matching stickers! I especially love the packaging these come in.

Would I buy again? Yes!  Never enough reasons to have the Guedtame theme song stuck in my head (like I do as I write this post).

Moon Stickers

On AliExpress: 45 pcs/pack Dark Moon Star Decorative Stickers Adhesive Stickers DIY Decoration Diary Stickers Box Package, $0.94

On Amazon: BleuMoo Phase Of The Moon Planet Star Calendar Decoration Stickers DIY Hand Craft Planner Scrapbook Label Diary Stickers, $3.35 (not available with Prime shipping)

My review: Back on the space theme, I’d seen these stickers pop up a few dozen times in various bullet journalling groups and AliExpress hauls. They were absolutely perfect for a moon phases spread!

 Would I buy again? Yes!

Galaxy Cat Stickers

On AliExpress: 6 pcs/pack Star Cats Label Stickers Set Decorative Stationery Stickers Scrapbooking DIY Diary Album Stick Label, $1.07

On Amazon: Cute Funny Cat Theme Washi Planner Sticker, Decorative Adhesive Sticker, Craft Scrapbooking Sticker Set for Diary, Album, Notebook, Bullet Journal, 12 Sheets/Pack(Star Cat), $8.99

My review: If you can’t tell, I love the galaxy aesthetic. If you’re a return visitor to the blog, you likely know how much I love cats (Fitz especially! He’d be very angry if I didn’t specify). These stickers combine the two beautifully!

Would I buy again? Most definitely!

What was your favourite piece of stationery in our AliExpress haul?

aliexpress stationery haul

January 2019 Favourites

January 2019 Favourites

It’s been a few months since we had a standard monthly favourites post, but I’m thrilled to be back with my January 2019 favourites! This post is a bit belated, too, but I wanted to share it still–and hopefully give you a few ideas to bring into your own life! Catch up on our past months’ posts here, then read on for this month’s.

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see our disclosure for more information!

WEARING:

With the incessant cold we’ve had here in Pennsylvania, plus an assortment of health issues, fuzzy socks have been my most-utilised piece of clothing for the month!

USING:

I’m well into my 2019 bullet journal and it’s working wonderfully so far!

LISTENING:

I’ve listened to remarkably little music this month, which is rather concerning, honestly!

EATING:

Early on in the month, I made some vegan copycat “Hamburger Helper” that was to die for–it reminded me so much of the nostalgic easy meal from when I was young, with none of the cruelty!

Another pasta dish, and another shot of nostalgia: my mom made a childhood favourite, stuffed shells, for the whole family and made me my own little tray of vegan shells with Gardein mince! I may have finished the tray that same night.

Looking for a lighter version? Check out our recipe for salad stuffed shells!

DRINKING:

Besides my usual liquid diet of Dunkin’ iced tea, McDonald’s Coke, and plenty of coffee, I had a magical discovery in the realm of drinks towards the end of this month: the new blueberry acai Diet Coke is AMAZING with a bit of vanilla rum!

READING:

Although I’ve set the lofty goal of reading 100 books this year, I’m woefully behind after being sick most of this month, and playing catch-up on work when I wasn’t.  I finished the first two books in Collins Hemingways’ The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen series) and read an advance copy of  Wanda Deglane’s Lady Saturn for a blurb (check out the reviews of all three on Pencils & Pages!).  I’ve got some more reviews lined up soon and I’m hoping to add in more reading for reading’s sake in February, too!

WATCHING:

I finally finished Kitchen Nightmares this month, as well as nine of the ten episodes of Castle Rock.  I started watching Tidying Up, too–as a long-time Marie Kondo fan, it’s a must-see!

LEARNING:

I’ve done little in this category throughout the month, which is definitely something I’d like to work on in February.  Lots of learning through experience, but very little actual learning, whether through Duolingo or courses.

WORKING:

This has been one of my busiest months yet in terms of work!

At my day job, I’ve been trying to earn a bit extra each week to pay off some extra debt, one of my top goals for this year.  Being sick so frequently this month definitely got in the way there, but I did decently all things considered!

Writing:

It was a big month in terms of writing, especially.  Thanks to lots of bed rest, a whole lot of preparation, and some amazing publications opening their submissions this month, I submitted more than 250 pieces to over 65 magazines and other projects!

This is definitely a bit outrageous, but I’ve legitimately enjoyed it.  I take time for each submission to read through previous issues where applicable, study what they’re looking for, and pick the best pieces possible.  I’m still not the best at gauging what will be an especially good fit, but I have gotten so much better!

I was thrilled to start off the year with quite a few acceptances too (and lots of rejections–more than 25% of my year goal of 100!).  I’ve had poems accepted and published with Royal Rose Mag, Brave Voices Magazine, and Marias at Sampaguitas, and accepted and forthcoming with Anti-Heroin Chic, Elephants Never, Peeking Cat Poetry, Kissing Dynamite, Neologism, and the She Will Speak Series.

And that’s just from January!  I’ve got pieces forthcoming from 2018 acceptances still, plus lots of submissions pending.  I can’t wait to see how much more comes as the year goes forward!

Late in the month, I also started sending out the manuscript for my micro-chapbook, Boleyn, as well as my second chapbook, How My Cat Saved My Life and Other Poems.

I started an anthology project, Stanzas from the Silence, for which I’m trying to find a home.  We’ll hopefully be taking submissions soon!

As for Nightingale & Sparrow, our submissions period for our inaugural issue, flight, ended on 31 January.  We’ve had so many amazing submissions and I’m so excited to share the final product soon!  We’ve also been sharing a series of micropoems on social media in preparation for the issue, so be sure to check those out too.

Blogging:

Here on For the Sake of Good Taste, we featured our first guest post of the year just last week, which was super exciting!

I’ve also started looking for a few early readers for Swap It!, which should be coming your way before you know it.  If you’re interested in reviewing an advance copy and haven’t yet reached out, please do!

Another big blogging milestone this month was the launch of Pencils & Pages, the new bookish-themed off-shoot of both For the Sake of Good Taste and my own writing endeavours.  Now you’ll find book reviews alongside writing insights over on the blog at my writing website!  This was a big step in FTSOGT really claiming it’s place as a vegan lifestyle blog and it’s been amazing so far.

POSTS THIS MONTH:

2018 Goals: Final Check-In

Christmas Gifts

2019 Blog Goals

2019 Goals

Life Update

2019 Bullet Journal

Fruits & Veggies for Dogs

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen, Vol. I Review

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen, Vol. II Review

January 2019 Favourites

WHAT WERE YOUR JANUARY 2019 FAVOURITES? STAY TUNED FOR FEBRUARY’S!

January 2019 Favourites

2019 Bullet Journal

My 2019 Bullet Journal

As you probably already know, I really enjoy bullet journaling.  As you might not already know, I’ve been talking about my excitement for setting up my 2019 bullet journal since . . . about October.  I insisted my mom pick up at least one of my favourite $5 journals from Michaels and planned to do little but work and bullet journal in the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

And that I did, for the most part.  So, my first bullet journal of 2019 is ready to go!  I’ve found that these journals typically last me about three months a piece, so this one should last me through March.  It might even make it until April, since I don’t have many holidays and events adding special pages!

This post is in no way affiliated with the official Bullet Journal brand.

For this year’s journal, I have it roughly split into long-term pages, blogging pages, writing/Nightingale & Sparrow pages, and monthly pages. There’s space after January to add the coming months, as well as any additional pages I might find myself in need of!

At the risk of spending a couple thousand words breaking down each page, I’m going to list most of them and give a bit more information on some of my favourites! Of course, if you want to know more about another page, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Long-term pages

My “Welcome 2019” page is one of my favourites, despite messing up a bit in writing out my word of the year (distractions are unhelpful, kids).

welcome 2019 bullet journal

My page for Fitz is another favourite, despite only being just started. How could I not love a page that features that face staring back at me? This is the first time I used by HP sprocket 2-in-1 in my journal and I absolutely love it.

Fitz 2019 bullet journal

My 101 in 1,001 spread always makes me smile as I flip through because it’s so darn colourful! I’ve got a ways to go on actually completing the tasks, but a spread this pretty is rather inspiring.

101 in 1,001 bullet journal 2019

The digital declutter spread is another favourite because I kept it pretty simple. The grey mildliner is the perfect complement if I do say so myself!

digital declutter bullet journal 2019

I also have a KonMari spread–I’ve been following her for years, but I’ve been telling myself for months now that 2019 will be the year I finally tackle the full process!

konmari bullet journal 2019

  • 2019
    • Intro & word of the year
    • Goals
    • Level 10 Life
    • Birthdays
    • Future log
  •  Finance
    • Bill tracker
    • Debt avalanche
    • Work income & expenses
    • Savings tracker
    • Wishlist & spending goals
  • Reference
    • Fitz’s info
    • General reference
  • Productivity
    • Morning/Evening routines
    • Packing lists
    • 101 in 1,001
    • Letter-writing tracker
    • Package tracker
    • Digital declutter checklist
    • KonMari method
    • Cleaning calendar
    • When did I last…? tracker
  • Entertainment
    • Books to Read
    • Goodreads Reading Challenge
    • Library Tracker
    • Movie Tracker
    • Disney movies
    • TV shows
  • Education
    • Duolingo tracker
    • Online course tracker
  • Food
    • Meal planner
    • Recipe bank
    • Vegan Treats to try
  • Health
    • Workouts
    • Makeup Expiration Tracker
    • Gratitude Log
    • Meditation Tracker

Blogging Pages

Most of these are replicated from my last journals–they were so useful the first times around that I stuck with it again!

  • Routines
  • Goals
  • Stats tracker
  • Post schedule
  • Vlog schedule
  • Pitches tracker
  • Collabs tracker
  • Plugins
  • Hashtags
  • Affiliates
  • Blog/Vlog ideas
  • Income/expenses
  • To dos

Writing/N&S pages

I’ve already had to add a few more Submissions Tracker pages as I make headway towards my 500 submissions goal for 2019!

  • Goals
  • Income/expenses
  • Submissions tracker
  • Poems published
  • 100 Rejections tracker
  • N&S info
  • N&S site info
  • N&S checklists
  • N&S income & expenses
  • N&S to do

Timed pages

I’m testing out a new weekly setup this month and I’m absolutely loving it so far! I still have enough space to track my endless to-do lists, but I can also track items like food, sleep, and water to make sure I’m staying at least semi-healthy.

  • January
    • Monthly spread:
      • Calendar
      • Bill tracker
      • Memories
      • Events & deadlines
      • Goals
      • To do
      • Shopping
      • Future log
    • Habit trackers
      • Habits
      • Medicine
      • Cat tasks
    • Weekly spread:
      • Daily to-dos
      • Sleep tracker
      • Water tracker
      • Weekly tasks
      • Food diary

How is your 2019 bullet journal coming along so far?

2019 Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal Holiday Spreads (Blogmas 2018, Day One)

If you don’t know already, my bullet journal is sometimes the only thing keeping me sane.  This year, I’m trying to utilise its full potential and incorporate some holiday trackers and other festive spreads!

I’ll detail the spreads I’m using myself first, then list some additional ideas that might be of interest.

This post is in no way affiliated with the official Bullet Journal brand.

My Holiday Bullet Journal Spreads

Winter/Holiday Bucket List

I’m doing a winter bucket list myself (I did an autumn bucket list too, though I’m afraid it wasn’t very successful).  For me, this contains everything from drinking some of my favourite peppermint hot cocoa and looking at Christmas lights to taking a walk in the snow and preparing for the new year.

winter bucket list

Christmas Countdown

Or a countdown for whatever holidays you celebrate!  You might not need a reminder of such a special day, but this will definitely build a bit of extra anticipation. I’m in full support of extra excitement!

I created 24 of these little lights & ornaments (I’m not exactly a talented artist, but these are an example of some of the better ones!) to colour in throughout the season.

christmas countdown - closeup

Gift List

Whoever you’re buying gifts for this season, keeping track can make it a lot easier!  You can list who you want to buy presents for, your ideas for what you want to buy, what you’ve already bought, and even mark when you’ve wrapped your gifts!

The lines in mine are rather wonky because I worked on this one during a pain flare, but it’s effective!  I have columns for the recipient’s name, the gift, the budget allocated, amount spent, the store I purchased it from, whether I’ve received it (for any online purchases), whether it’s wrapped, and whether it’s been sent or delivered, as well as a bonus column for notes!

christmas gift list

Card List

Similarly to a gift list, planning out and tracking the cards you send out will simplify the process.  Keep track of cards you’ve received and want to reply to, cards you still need to send, and even addresses for those loved ones you want to send a special card to–that way you won’t need to look up addresses, too!

I kept mine simple with a list of names and boxes for the card being written, addressed, stamped, and sent.

christmas card tracker

Treats to Bake

Do you have a Pinterest board filled with festive recipes you mean to make, but keep putting off? Make yourself a tracker and get cooking!  You can keep it simple with a list or doodle each treat to colour in as you bake/make them.

My tray of cookies isn’t particularly pretty, but it gets the job done!

christmas treats tracker

Movies to Watch

I don’t know about you, but I love holiday movies.  By sitting down early and writing out my favourites, I barely have to think to put on a film! In fact, I’ve already made progress on a few.

holiday movie tracker

Holiday Story/Reading Tracker

I’m listing some of my favourite stories here in advance and I plan to add some poems throughout the season as I inevitably come across them.  Let me know if you have any suggestions!

christmas reading list

 

Dinner Menu & Shopping List

Since any vegan food is exclusively for me by default (no one else will eat it, really!), I get to be pretty creative for Christmas dinner!  I attempted to make my actual “menu” a bit more fancy, taking inspiration from some wedding menu cards, but I kept my shopping list nice and simple.

shopping list

Blogmas Planner

I couldn’t help but include Blogmas! This includes the date and shortened post title, plus boxes to check off for when the text is finished, pictures are ready, and the post is scheduled (T, P, & F), as well as when it’s been shared to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest (f, t, i, & p).

blogmas spread

DIY/Crafts to Try

One of the items on my 101 in 1,001 list is to try some Pinterest crafts and one of my winter bucket list items is to make an ornament. So, some crafting is in order!

More Holiday Bullet Journal Spreads:

  1. Travel/trip planner
  2. Stocking stuffer ideas
  3. Holiday party planner
  4. Calendar for tracking plans/events
  5. Wishlists
  6. Holiday memories
  7. Festive doodles
  8. Tracker for any food allergies/preferences in guests
  9. Holiday budget
  10. Holiday to-do list
  11. Favourite holiday songs
  12. Holiday quotes
  13. Secret Santa organisation
  14. Decoration inventory
  15. Thank you note tracker
  16. New Year’s resolutions/goals/affirmations

Of course, you can’t forget themed weeklies, dailies, or monthly pages! I decided against using the holidays as a full monthly theme, but that would be another great way to incorporate some festive cheer into your bullet journal.  Plus, you can top it all off with a holiday cover page.

In fact, I did add a quick Christmas-y cover for my holiday pages! This song always gets stuck in my head as December comes to a start, so it was the perfect beginning.

christmas is coming

Or, as I realised while writing it, this could also be an uncharacteristically festive Game of Thrones reference!  Either way, I’ll take it.

Have you made any bullet journal holiday spreads yourself? Let us know in the comments what your favourites are!

Happy Blogmas

Bullet Journal Tools - My Favourite Stationery

Bullet Journal Tools and Beyond: My Favourite Stationery

If you haven’t caught on by posts like my 6 Top Office Supplies for College Students, I really like stationery.  When I’m not collecting supplies to make my pencil case a bit more pretty, I’m probably using it to bullet journal!  In the process, I’ve definitely found some supplies that are, in my mind, well above the rest, whether in quality, uses, or personal preference. Today I’m sharing some of my favourite stationery products and bullet journal tools!

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see our disclosure for more information!

This post is in no way affiliated with the official Bullet Journal brand.

Mildliners*

Mildliners

My mom bought a pack of these after seeing them in some bullet journal Facebook groups and found she loved them. Soon after, I got my own! I’m hoping to finish my collection someday soon – I only have two of the small packs so far.

Two often missed fun facts about these pens:  they aren’t midliners (despite the logical progression from highlighters!) and they’re actually double-sided! When I first learnt about the smaller, finer end, I couldn’t see much of a use for it in comparison to the “normal” end. After using these for a while now, though, I’ve come to love them both!

Staedtler fineliners*

Fineliners

I only have a five-pack of these so far (this four-pack* with an added grey pen), but I absolutely love them!  I especially enjoy the built-in easel added into their plastic case. This 36-count pack* is next on my wishlist until I can eventually buy the 50-pack with all 48 colours!

In the meantime, though, my mom happens to have the big pack herself and she’s kind enough to share!  Because of that, I have access to plenty of colours most of the time and I can honestly say that they are absolutely stunning. The pens write beautifully and the colours are vivid and of a great variety.

Sakura Pigma Microns

Microns

My all-time favourite pens! I use these for drawing out spreads, signing books, and everything in between.  These don’t have as long of a lifespan as most of the others listed here, between the fragility of the tip and the ease with which the label (and, consequently, the marking of which size if which) wears out after a bit of use). Still, I love these pens and would definitely recommend them!

Fountain pen*

Fountain Pen

Some backstory: I once bought a calligraphy set from an estate sale that was opened, but unused. I brought it home with an awful lot of excitement but found that, no matter how hard I tried, I would only rip through the paper when using the fountain pen.

Fast forward to a few months ago, when my sister brought home a fountain pen for an art project. After watching her go over her drawings with it, I asked to borrow it for a minute and retry. As it turns out, the ink cartridges were most likely dried out in that old kit – I could successfully write with a fountain pen! Now, I’ve got my very own!

Follow-up a few months after writing that first bit:  unfortunately, this pen specifically stopped working not long after my purchasing it. I’m hoping to get a slightly better quality the next time around so this hopefully won’t occur again! 

Dixon Ticonderoga pencils*

Dixon Ticonderoga Pencils

I mentioned these in my top office supplies for college students, but they’re worth another shoutout! For bullet journaling, these are great for sketching out spreads before finalising them in your ink of choice. However, I pretty much use them for anything and everything!  Additionally, these were my pencil of choice through seventeen years of schooling—they’re perfect for back to school!

Washi tape*

I love washi tape for its endless design options and limitless uses! Sometimes it’s just the pop of colour or theme-coordinating design to make a spread perfect. I have far more rolls than any sane person should own, but I love it nevertheless.  I haven’t tried those linked above yet, so let me know your thoughts if you do!

My collection is a bit excessive, with rolls from Michael’s, AliExpress, and gifts. From pet themes to polka dots, I almost always have the perfect colour or design! Whether you’re adding a pop of colour to something in your bedroom or you’re updating your bullet journal spread, washi is probably the perfect solution.

Cover-It*

Cover-It

Or correcting product of choice. When I don’t use a pencil first (or even sometimes when I do!) I turn to whatever type of wite-out I have on hand to save the day. . . and that bit of my journal. From a misplaced mark to an overdrawn line, cover-it is ideal for making your pages look a bit more streamlined.

Keep in mind that this works better for pages that are of a similar shade of white. Of course, you can use it on off-white or cream pages, but if the colour difference will bother you, this might not be the best solution. An erasable pen may be a solution in this case!

Bullet Journal Tools - My Favourite Stationery

These aren’t all of my bullet journal tools and supplies, but they are some of my favourites!  What are your favourite school/office supplies or bullet journal tools?

My 2018 BuJo So Far

Bullet Journal Inspiration: My 2018 BuJo So Far

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll know that I reference my bullet journal (and this post on bullet journaling) all. the. time.  With that in mind, I thought it was about time I share my 2018 bujo so far—both for your bullet journal inspiration and as an update of sorts!  Of course, this is just a sampling of my favourite spreads.  If there’s a spread you’d like me to share otherwise, just shoot me a message and I’d be happy to oblige.

This post is in no way affiliated with the official Bullet Journal brand.

As of August, I’ve updated this post to include some more spreads and further feedback on my earlier spreads! I began a second journal for 2018 when I graduated at the end of May, so there are spreads from both journals and both my student life and “adult” life.  For the most part, these are updated versions of our prior spreads. Where I haven’t kept up with a spread going forward, I’ve let you know about that, too.

Monthly Covers

I’ve let myself get a bit extra-creative (and a lot sticker-crazy!) with some monthly covers this time around.  Can you tell I was really getting into Valentine’s Day?

As the months went on, I used a few covers and the start of themes for the month, like my Bob’s Burgers theme for April and my Star Wars theme (featuring special guest star Justin Timberlake) for May. I’ve really come to enjoy spreading a theme or colour scheme throughout my spreads for that month.

Habit Tracker

I’ve kept a habit tracker of some sort since I began my first bullet journal, but it’s probably the spread that’s changed the most!  As I’m sure you can tell from the image, I’ve done rather poorly when it comes to keeping up with it this month, too.  Nevertheless, I’m liking the small sets of boxes for each habit, as opposed to a larger overall grid.  Not sure if I prefer the x’s or squares though (let me know what you think in the comments!).

I haven’t done very well throughout the year with keeping with a habit tracker, and I didn’t include one for a few of the months.  This one is still a work in progress: I’ve started reincorporating a few individual habits that I’d like to track again, but it still hasn’t quite stuck!

Weeklies

I’ve always been partial to daily spreads, if only because I tend to have an unnatural list of things to do each day.  Nevertheless, I think I’ve permanently converted to this weekly spread!  The long boxes allow for a lot of to-do items (though I have found myself having to abbreviate to fit some items), but keeps me from putting too many in one day—if it doesn’t fit in today, it will just have to wait until tomorrow!  I also love the boxes above for events (yes, I need to go to class, but I don’t want to take up valuable to-do space with it!).

As of August, I’m using the same style of weekly!  I’ve added a few pieces some months, like a tracker for the hours I worked at my transcriptionist job or a tracker showing my progress toward making the money I’ll need to pay my bills that week.

Meal Planner & Recipe Bank

These are some of my favourite pages so far!  One of the best things about living alone (well, besides Fitz and the obligatory Gettysburg ghosts) is the ability to experiment with new meals whenever I want, with little to no complaints.   Not only do these pages keep me from forgetting about some favourites, but I’m constantly adding to the bank to mix things up.  That being said, I’m happy to take suggestions if you have any recipe recommendations!

I don’t use this spread anywhere near as much as I should even still.  But I am making a conscious effort to add new recipes and recipes I rediscover so that when I do use it, I can use it more!

Books to Read

This one is taken almost exactly from my last journal, except I’m adding books as I plan to read them, rather than filling all the shelves at once with books I eventually want to read.  This way, I feel like I’m under a lot less pressure to read the ones I added to it months ago just to fill space, and I’m already colouring in more than I did in all of the filled shelves!

When I switched journals, I also moved over a similar spread. I accented this one with a few cute details from some stencils I acquired, which never fails to make me smile!

Sleep Log

I’ve been trying extra hard to improve my sleeping habits, and between my Fitbit and this log, it’s getting there!  In the main grid, I midline the hours I slept during the night, then on the right, I add in any naps.

As of August, I’ve mostly stopped using this tracker. My sleep’s still very poor, but filling in the tracker wasn’t making much of a difference. My Fitbit records this in much more detail, so there’s little sense in rewriting it (much less writing out so many tiny numbers!). I’m considering adding a spot to mark how much sleep I’ve gotten each night, but I don’t think I’ll be returning to a full-page spread.

What’s your best bullet journal inspiration of 2018 thus far?

My 2018 BuJo So Far

Productivity Tools

Productivity Tools (12 Days of Blogmas 2017, Day Eight)

Whether you’re managing extracurriculars and classes, work and PTO meetings, or any combination of events, staying productive can be a monumental task.  Thankfully, there are plenty of productivity tools to make it easier!

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see our disclosure for more information!

Planner or Bullet Journal

Check out our introduction to bullet journaling here if you’re unfamiliar!  If pen-and-paper is your forte, then these are the ideal tools for you.  Colour-code your various events (I love Papermate InkJoy pens* for this!) and, most importantly, be sure you check it!

Google or Microsoft account

I’ve used Google forever but I’ve used Microsoft more and more as of late.  Both have so many uses beyond email!  From Google/OneDrive to Forms and Calendars, they’re a productivity goldmine.

Trello

I have tried seemingly infinite project management systems, but Trello is unquestionably my favourite and the one I’ve stuck with the longest.  There should be a whole post up on its magnificence soon, so stay tuned!

Check out our Trello review!

Reminders

As an iPhone user, I use the reminders app, but there are plenty or alternatives for list-making—you can even use Trello for many of them!  If you want to be reminded of something that doesn’t belong on your calendar, a to-do list app is perfect.

IFTTT

If This Than That is perfect for anyone who wants to automate more of their life—looking at you, my fellow bloggers! Want to save your Facebook photos to Google Drive?  There’s a recipe for that.

Evernote

Confession:  I’ve never been able to fully convert to Evernote.  But, those who are fans are some of the strongest proponents of a program that I’ve ever seen!  That being said, it’s worth a try—if it works for you, it seems that it will really work for you!

Personal Assistant

If you have a smartphone, you likely have Siri, OK Google, or Cortana built-in.  The same goes for laptops.  You can even buy a device like the Amazon Echo (I just got the Echo Dot for Christmas and I’m in love!) or Google Home to do the same (and, many times, even more!).  Say goodbye to the days of realising you’re out of chilli powder and Dijon while cooking, then forgetting about it the moment you get to the store. Alexa, add cauliflower to my shopping list.  You just have to remember to open the app when you arrive!

Buffer

Buffer is my go-to tool for scheduling social media.  Whether you’re a blogger like myself or just don’t want to spam your Facebook friends with half a dozen new photo albums at once, it’s ideal!  Hootsuite is a good alternative, too.

Which of these productivity tools have you tried?

CATCH UP ON THE REST OF OUR 12 DAYS OF BLOGMAS HERE!

Productivity Tools

Reset Your Life

Reset Your Life for the New Year with These Tips (12 Days of Blogmas 2017, Day Three)

For many people, the new year serves as a fresh start.  Launch that fresh start and reset your life with these tips:

Take stock of where you are now

“Life audit” sounds like a fancy term, but it’s a great starting point.  Check out the concept of a Level 10 life for an especially helpful introduction (and an excellent idea for a bujo collection!)!  Once you know where you stand at the start, you can figure out where to go from there.

Be honest with yourself

This relates directly to the earlier tip, too.  If you underestimate how much you’re struggling with a certain category of your life, you can’t improve appropriately.  Overestimate and you’ll be doing more work than necessary.  Ask a friend for insight if you need a second opinion!

Launch some healthy habits

Have you always wanted to do yoga regularly?  Do you want to start drinking green smoothies?  Want to start a vegan lifestyle (stay tuned for our upcoming course!)?  Now’s a great time.  Check out our first day of Blogmas for advice on sticking to your New Year’s resolutions.

Make time for self-care

This one could be a habit or resolution all by itself!  Make a list of mental healthy things to reference when you have free time or queue up some movies for your next mental health day.  Prioritise yourself and your life will improve by default.

KonMari your life

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of KonMari-ing, I can’t recommend The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up enough!  For this reference though, you only need to know one question:  Does this spark joy? In Ms. Kondo’s method, this refers to getting rid of items that do not bring you joy.  Here, this can refer to items to organise, habits to break, or commitments to break.  Does that hobby bring you joy?  If not, why keep it up?

Practice Gratitude

Even on the worst of days, you have something to be grateful for, even if it’s just having air to breathe.  Maintaining gratitude puts the bad moments in perspective.  Keep a gratitude journal or download an app (or even the Notes app!) and watch the benefits multiply!

What are you doing to reset your life this new year?

Check out the rest of our 12 Days of Blogmas 2017 here!

Reset Your Life

How to Be More Productive

How to Be More Productive: 17 Easy Ways to Get More Done

I’m a full-time student, an executive for at least three organisations at any given time (have you checked out Her Campus at Gettysburg yet?), the owner and author of everything having to do with this site, I write professionally, and I have a part-time job at a local museum.  In short, I’m always very, very busy!  It’s been absolutely critical that I stay organized and productive.  Today, I’m sharing my best tips and tools for you to learn how to be more productive!

1.  Do it for five minutes.

You can do ANYTHING for five minutes, right?  It might feel like a long time, depending on what you’re doing, but it’s still only five minutes.  Accomplish that?  Challenge yourself to five more, or even as far as half an hour!  Chances are, you’ll get into “work mode” strongly enough to keep it up a bit longer.

Pro tip:  Try out the Pomodoro technique if this method seems to work for you!

2. Plan, plan, plan!

Get a pre-formatted planner.  Start a bullet journal, if that’s more your style.  Prefer digital?  Set up a Google or Outlook calendar, or iCal.  Use a website or app like Asana or Trello. Whatever your preference, you need something to keep you organized, especially if you’re a student or busy professional.  Even a basic notebook can be carried around for to do lists, songs you hear and want to download, or your grocery list.

3.  Set the scene.

Remove whatever distractions you can.  Too quiet?  Try white noise or an ambient soundtrack.  Personally, I use Ambient Mixer—I love the Ravenclaw Common Room mix!  I also keep a playlist of my most motivating songs for when I really need a boost!

Pro tip:  Movie or video game scores tend to make awesome study/work music!

4.  Drink water

One of these things is not like the other?  If you’re hydrated, you’ll be less hungry and be less likely to deal with headaches or dry skin/chapped lips and general sadness.  Water is magical like that.

Check out these tips to stay hydrated!

5.  Dress up!

Maybe not in your favourite pirate hat or princess dress.  However, “dress for success” is a cliché for a reason—and not just because it rhymes!  Studies show that dressing the part helps your mind differentiate between “work you” and “play you.”  This is especially important if you work from home (looking at you, fellow bloggers!).

6.  Stay in the zone—literally!

On a similar note, it’s important to stay in a work-related setting, especially if you work from home or study in a dorm.  Your brain will have an easier time focusing if you aren’t trying to revise in bed or answer emails from the couch.

7.  While you’re planning, plan ahead.  

Take five minutes before you go to bed to plan out a basic timeline for the next day.  Stop for a bit on Sunday night and prep for the week.  Like they say:  failure to plan is planning to fail!

8.  Utilise your email

Does Inbox Zero motivate you to stay focused?  Maybe it’s using your inbox as a to-do list?  Test a few different methods, then put it into action!

9.  Prioritise. 

Picture this:  you’ve got a mile-long to do list and you’re diligently crossing things off all day long.  Then, come the evening, you look back on the past twelve hours and feel like you’ve accomplished so little.  Why? Chances are, you crossed off plenty of little tasks, but not the most important. So, at the beginning of the day, identify your most important task(s) and get that completed as soon as possible.  Do the thing!

10.  But, don’t forget the little things.

It’s absolutely crucial to do those important tasks, but you can’t underestimate the power of the little ones.  Think back to that imaginary day from #9:  instead of a bunch of little items or just your top three, picture your day if you crossed off your most important tasks AND a handful of smaller ones.  Feeling more productive yet?

11.  Minimise distractions.  

I’m sure you’ve heard this one a thousand times.  Download an app to block the sites you waste the most time on: Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube . . . . Set your phone to “do not disturb.”  Tell your friends you’re going off the radar for a bit.  Then get to work!

12.  Sit down and do it!  

If you’re anything like me, it’s far too easy for you to get stuck in the planning stages . . . eternally.  Planning is great (and truly one of my favourite pastimes!), but you won’t accomplish much if you never take that first step beyond preparing.

13.  Set boundaries and make them known.  

Maybe you’ll only check your email between 2 and 5 pm.  You’ll only focus on work during working hours (an especially helpful plan for crafting that legendary work-life balance!).  Maybe every Saturday at noon is your set me-time.  Tell your friends, coworkers, and families that this is set in stone.  Then, follow through!

14.  Find your most productive moments.  

Remember in high school, when the period immediately following lunch absolutely dragged?  Learn from that and plan your day accordingly.  Are you useless before your morning coffee?  Don’t wake up and immediately open your emails.  Does a three o’clock nap always sound like a good idea?  Don’t plan a crucial meeting at 2:45.  Keep track of your time and figure out when you’re most productive. Use those time slots to your advantage!

15.  Just say no!

No, I don’t mean to drugs (though, of course, avoiding those will definitely help you be more productive!).  But, saying no will still come in handy.  Really don’t need to go to your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s cousin’s baby shower?  Say from the start that you can’t make it!  Swamped at work and know you won’t be able to fit in that extra assignment Bob the next desk over asked for a hand on? Tell him that, while you’d love to help, you simply can’t this time around.

16.  Do a life audit

This one honestly helps improve your life overall, as well as making you more productive!  Basically, it’s hard to be productive if you aren’t prioritizing (which could be a whole tip itself!).  Pull out your bullet journal and create a Level 10 Life spread.  Or maybe you want to freestyle it a bit more.  Maybe you want to keep it super simple with a basic list of categories and subcategories, with some action steps off to the side.  The important part is to identify what you’re committed to (don’t forget that you yourself are a commitment!) and decide how you need to improve in that category (or congratulate yourself for doing so already, you well-balanced human, you!).  This is the perfect time to throw in some KonMari, too.  Does this activity or commitment spark joy, or is it necessary for you to exist? If not, it’s probably time to focus your energy elsewhere.

17.  Find what motivates you and use it to your advantage.

Have you seen the image circulating the web of a textbook with candy bars stuck in every few pages as a reward for getting that much studying done?  Utilise this principle.  If I don’t really feel like working on the blog, you lovely readers (yes, you!) and my amazing group of blogging friends (*waves to the Twitter gals*) motivate me to do it anyway.  If I don’t really want to go to class or work, the concept of providing for my future dog is usually enough to kick me into gear!  Find what motivates you the most, whether that be candy or puppies, and find a way to use it to motivate you for everything else.

What’s your best tip for being more productive?

How to Be More Productive

Bullet Journal Basics

Bullet Journal Basics

A few months ago, I was at brunch with my friend Nancy when she showed me her new bullet journal.  I’d seen plenty of ornate “bujos” between Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr, so I was familiar with the concept, but eternally deterred by my own lack of artistic ability.  These were gorgeous and filled with watercolours and calligraphy—I may love planners and lists, but how could I ever create something like these masterpieces?  Nancy proved me wrong with her simple, but oh-so-perfect bullet journal.  In case you’re like me and you’re terrified to start for fear of it not being pretty enough or that ever-present perfectionism (guilty!), consider this your foolproof introduction to bullet journaling.

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please see our disclosure for more information!

This post is in no way affiliated with the official Bullet Journal brand.

Supplies:

To start bullet journaling, you (rather obviously) need a bullet journal.

I fell completely in love with this notebook (and its price!), so I cannot recommend it enough to my UK friends.  I’m still trying to figure out how to get a replacement while I’m here in the States (let me know if you have any ideas—I’ll love you forever!)!

If you’re like me and can’t get to WH Smith, some highly recommended brands in the States are Leuchtturm*, Moleskine*, or even the official Bullet Journal notebook.  Really, though, you just need a notebook that you like and that will hold up to frequent use. For my blogging bullet journal (blogju, if you will), I simply use a spiral-bound notebook*!

You’ll also need some pens.  Technically, any pen you happen to have on hand works perfectly well!  However, I’m a stationery addict, so I’m always up for new pens!

For my bujo, I use a combination of these:

Check out my updated list of bullet journal supplies!

Microns*

Fineliners (these* and a pack I got at Paperchase, as well as an eight-pack I got at Poundland!)

Mildliners*

Gel pen*

Now, you can technically start with just this and be perfectly fine.  In fact, I recommend it, until you’re sure you’d like to stick with it!  But, if you’d like to add some additional fun, here are some of my recommendations for add-on goodies:

Washi tape*

Stickers*

Ruler*

Wite-out*

Tabs*

Paper clips*

Getting Started

Before you dive in (I know, I know, you want to get started!), you should do some research.  Check out bulletjournal.com for an introduction (and some helpful videos!) for bujo basics.

Then, the best place to go is Pinterest.  You can check out our board here to get you started!  Find some spreads you like, find some lists you might want to make, and some doodles you want to try for yourself.  It’s your journal—include whatever you like!

Personally, I find daily task lists to be the most useful, but I’m testing out monthly and weekly for those to-dos that don’t have an assigned day.

Want to add some outside sources to your new Pinterest board?  Check out some of these sites for more ideas:

Productive & Pretty (currently unavailable)

Tiny Ray of Sunshine

Boho Berry

Little Coffee Fox

Life By Whitney

Here are some of my favourite pages, in case you need a little more inspiration:

101 in 1,001 List

Package Tracker

Fruit and Veggie Storage (Reference)

Bucket List

School Supply List

Book and Movie Trackers

Habit Tracker

I also keep a separate notebook for lists and pages pertaining specifically to the blog!  I use it to keep track of my editorial calendar, to-do lists, and expenses.  If you’re a fellow blogger or business owner, try adding some pages to your journal, or start a separate one specifically for your store or site!

Got your inspiration?  It’s time to get started!!

Like Ryder says in the bulletjournal.com videos, the index is the perfect place to start.  Don’t be like me:  leave several pages for the index!  It worked out;  I started a second and third index when the first filled up, then added that index as the last entry in the former.

Then, take the plunge!

The most important piece of advice I can give you in starting your own bullet journal is to let go of perfectionism.  You’ll see amazing, beautiful, supermegafoxyawesomehot images all over the internet.  If that’s your sort of thing, go for it!  If not, don’t stress:  your bujo doesn’t need to look like that!  What’s important is that you like it and that it works for you.  It that involves detailed diagrams and watercolour ombre, good!  If that involves a simple task list written with a pen you got at a job fair, good!

Have you started your bullet journal? Let us know your favourite tips and tricks!

Bullet Journal Basics